Criminal sexual assault charges have been filed against Benton County Attorney Phillip K. Miller. The 61-year-old was charged July 27 in his county for the alleged assaults against a teenage girl.
According to a criminal complaint, St. Cloud police were alerted to sexual assault allegations against Miller on Jan. 26, 2021. The child who identified Miller was a teenage girl.
She told police that she was lying in her bed following a bonfire in St. Cloud when Miller came into her room in March 2020. She pretended to be asleep when Miller allegedly "put his hands down the front of her pants, under her underwear" and touched her, the criminal complaint states.
The teen victim said there was a second incident a month or two later. She said she was sleeping in her room when Miller entered the room and "pulled the blankets off" before groping her, the complaint says.
The girl said she rolled away only to have Miller pull her back. When she sat up, Miller "ducked down beside her bed" and stayed there for "about a minute" before getting up and leaving.
Miller told investigators that he entered the girl's room only to turn off the TV, and that he lifted the blankets to look for the remote.
Miller's attorney released a statement on behalf of Miller Tuesday.
"Mr. Miller staunchly denies the allegations and asserts his innocence — which he has been doing since the inception of the investigation. Mr. Miller provided a voluntary statement to the police and denied the allegations."
Miller faces one second-degree charge and two fourth-degree charges for the alleged sexual assault.
According to the St. Cloud Times, Miller is permitted to continue working as Benton County's top prosecutor because he is an elected official.